Ardmore Road Trip

My good friend Justin (last name “Mason”, if that last name rings a bell…) bought a motorcycle last year. He lives in Dallas, and since Ardmore, OK is exactly halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma City (120 miles for each of us), we decided that would be a good meeting place. Last Fall’s trip turned out to be pretty miserable for both of us. The ride was longer than we thought, and neither of us were very prepared. We both came home very tired and very sore.

After a fairly cold Winter, we decided to try it again. Of course, this time I have the R1 instead of the Honda Shadow, which I was really worried about. It turns out I shouldn’t have been, as the little rice rocket was way more comfortable than I could have imagined. I told myself before leaving that I would force myself to stop every 30 miles to stretch and take a break. I changed that to every 40 miles, just because I was so comfortable. You would think that leaning forward like that would be hard on your back, but it’s just the opposite — the weight normally on your back gets transferred to your chest and arms. While my palms are a little sore, my back feels great.

Justin’s a big fan of Mazzio’s Pizza (which he misses dearly since he moved away from Oklahoma), so we met at the Mazzio’s in Ardmore. Both of us ordered way too much food, but it was all good. We sat around, ate, talked, and rested.

From Mazzio’s, we headed out to Lake Murray. It was only about five miles from downtown Ardmore, and the winding rodes looked like a fun place to ride motorcycles. It turns out, we were right!

The curves around the lake had us throwing around our bikes like never before. The funniest thing is, while I was riding I felt like I was really leaning hard, and then when I look a the pictures it barely even looks like we were turning. OK, so we weren’t dragging our knees in the corners or anything, we were still having fun! The speed limit around the lake is 45mph, so we weren’t even speeding … that much.

After riding around for a bit we found a couple of pretty good “S” twisty turns, which turned out to be a good place to take some pictures. We were there for about half an hour, taking turns zipping up and down the road. It turns out taking pictures of people riding a motorcycle is pretty hard, although we did end up getting some good shots. Just know, that for every picture added to the gallery, there were about three of the road with no motorcycle anywhere in sight …

Someone must’ve eventually called the park ranger, because we saw one circling the area when we left to get gas. Then when we were setting up for the pictures, we saw two come by in pickups. When we were all done, we left and decided to push it for “one more good ride” … right near the end there are a couple of tight turns which causes us to slow down, which was good — around the second corner was a park ranger with RADAR. Fortunately he didn’t catch us, and all’s well that ends well.

The weather was pretty cool around the lake. While it was 70 degrees on the way to Ardmore, around the lake it was closer to 60 degrees. Cool, but not cold by any means. When we finally decided to leave, it was almost 7pm, and temperatures were dropping. Fast. I hit the interstate going North, and at my first stop (40 miles), it was closer to 50 degrees. Since it was 70 degrees when I left, I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, blue jean shorts, and fingerless gloves. At 50 degrees, it started getting cool. With no other option than continuing, I did just that. The second stop was in Norman, and at that point, I was freezing. I saw a bank sign that read 39 degrees. My fingers were numb, my whole body was freezing, and I was shivering like crazy. I ended up stopping at a 7-11 and buying some gloves which, while not very stylish, did get me home.

When I got home Susan fixed me a big cup of hot chocolate and some hot soup. After trying to warm up with a blanket for a while, I ended up running some hot bath water and soaking in there for a bit to warm up.

Overall, we both had a blast. Riding around the lake was a lot of fun, and the 120 mile ride to and from Ardmore wasn’t nearly as bad as you might think. We’ll probably do it again soon … but if I get a vote, we’ll wait until Summer.

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